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The Ninth Metal

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IT BEGAN WITH A COMET…   At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire. The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal IT BEGAN WITH A COMET…   At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire. The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal was discovered. This “omnimetal” has properties that make it world-changing as an energy source…and a weapon. John Frontier—the troubled scion of an iron-ore dynasty in Northfall—returns for his sister’s wedding to find his family embroiled in a cutthroat war to control mineral rights and mining operations. His father rightly suspects foreign leaders and competing corporations of sabotage, but the greatest threat to his legacy might be the U.S. government. Physicist Victoria Lennon was recruited by the Department of Defense to research omnimetal, but she finds herself trapped in a laboratory of nightmares. And across town, a rookie cop is investigating a murder that puts her own life in the cross-hairs. She will have to compromise her moral code to bring justice to this now lawless community. In this gut-punch of a novel, the first in his Comet Cycle, Ben Percy lays bare how a modern-day gold rush has turned the middle of nowhere into the center of everything, and how one family—the Frontiers—hopes to control it all.


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IT BEGAN WITH A COMET…   At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire. The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal IT BEGAN WITH A COMET…   At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire. The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal was discovered. This “omnimetal” has properties that make it world-changing as an energy source…and a weapon. John Frontier—the troubled scion of an iron-ore dynasty in Northfall—returns for his sister’s wedding to find his family embroiled in a cutthroat war to control mineral rights and mining operations. His father rightly suspects foreign leaders and competing corporations of sabotage, but the greatest threat to his legacy might be the U.S. government. Physicist Victoria Lennon was recruited by the Department of Defense to research omnimetal, but she finds herself trapped in a laboratory of nightmares. And across town, a rookie cop is investigating a murder that puts her own life in the cross-hairs. She will have to compromise her moral code to bring justice to this now lawless community. In this gut-punch of a novel, the first in his Comet Cycle, Ben Percy lays bare how a modern-day gold rush has turned the middle of nowhere into the center of everything, and how one family—the Frontiers—hopes to control it all.

30 review for The Ninth Metal

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    "The Ninth Metal" is a trip into a speculative universe that is in one sense very recognizable and in another sense entirely unrecognizable. The book is at once science fiction, but also contains old themes of warring Hatfield and McCoys and of the prodigal son returning to his hometown, but finding himself a stranger in a strange land. The world suddenly changed forever when meteors rained down from the sky, meteors so large that they obliterated big things, particularly in the economically dis "The Ninth Metal" is a trip into a speculative universe that is in one sense very recognizable and in another sense entirely unrecognizable. The book is at once science fiction, but also contains old themes of warring Hatfield and McCoys and of the prodigal son returning to his hometown, but finding himself a stranger in a strange land. The world suddenly changed forever when meteors rained down from the sky, meteors so large that they obliterated big things, particularly in the economically distraught north Minnesota iron range. And it is there where the greatest gold rush in history takes place. Omnimetal, the Ninth metal, is more valuable than gold. It creates energy and powers trains, like the one John returns on to find mining camps everywhere and warring family compounds. The author starts the reader slowly, developing his characters with true depth. Each of them have lived and hurt. But hang on to your hats because you have no idea what's coming. Cause everything is changing. This is the first novel in a planned series with at least two more on the way. Bring them on. Oh, and by the way, the book is dedicated to among others, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 stars This is the first book in the Comet Cycle Series, about the consequences of a comet passing close to the Earth. ***** Northfall, Minnesota was a quiet mining town until planet Earth spun through the debris field of the comet Cain. As millions of meteorites fell to the ground, the sky flared, the ground shook, electricity went dark, radio signals scrambled, dogs howled, and people screamed. The debris landed everywhere, but Northfall got the largest deposits of a substance called 'omnimetal 3.5 stars This is the first book in the Comet Cycle Series, about the consequences of a comet passing close to the Earth. ***** Northfall, Minnesota was a quiet mining town until planet Earth spun through the debris field of the comet Cain. As millions of meteorites fell to the ground, the sky flared, the ground shook, electricity went dark, radio signals scrambled, dogs howled, and people screamed. The debris landed everywhere, but Northfall got the largest deposits of a substance called 'omnimetal.' Omnimetal has a phenomenal ability to hold and deliver energy. If you strike omnimetal, or shake it, or electrify it, it absorbs the energy, stores it, and then releases it. Omnimetal can be used to power cars, trains, planes, cell phones, and other battery-powered appliances. It can disrupt communication and transportation networks. And it can be weaponized. Thus omnimetal is the most valuable commodity on the planet. Thousands of people rush to Northfall to dig for omnimetal or to work for mining companies.....and merchants, prostitutes, strippers, etc. follow to service the workers. The largest miners of omnimetal are two rival companies, Frontier Metals and Black Dog Energy, both of which have elaborate excavating operations. Both Frontier Metals and Black Dog Energy are buying up property in Northfall, and both are bidding on an area called Gunderson Woods, which has a GINORMOUS deposit of the valuable material. The competitive owners of Frontier Metals and Black Dog Energy would do ANYTHING to obtain metal-rich holdings, including bribery, coercion, blackmail, physical assault, kidnapping and murder. To add to omnimetal's mystique, individuals who were bombarded with the material during the meteor shower and SURVIVED were radically changed. After a terribly painful adaptation, the victims became almost indestructible. In addition, they can take in, store, and give off huge amounts of energy.....glowing blue as they do so. One schoolboy named Hawkin was transformed in this manner, and the government has him locked away in inhumane conditions for research purposes. The main protagonist in the story is a man named John Frontier, whose family owns Frontier Metals. John was a troublemaker as a youth and left Northfall to become a better person. Now, after five years away, John returns to attend his sister's wedding. John wants nothing to do with the family mining company, and plans to leave after the nuptials. Things don't work out that way, however, and John gets drawn into the conflict between Frontier Metals and Black Dog Energy. John also gets involved with other things in Northfall.....things that endanger his life. The story is an action-packed sci-fi thriller with an eclectic array of characters, a touch of romance, and a superhero vibe. It's a fine beginning to the Comet Cycle series. Thanks to Netgalley, Benjamin Percy, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gerhard

    Okay, now that was an unexpectedly pleasant reading surprise: A popcorn novel that combines Western, SF, horror and thriller elements in an old-fashioned, yet surprisingly effective, manner. Think ‘Stranger Things’ combined with some of the darker and crazier ‘The X-Files’ episodes, and you’ll get a sense of what a fantastic read this is. Also, if you enjoyed ‘The Institute’ by Stephen King, where a dastardly top-secret government organisation experiments on inculcating latent superpowers in vuln Okay, now that was an unexpectedly pleasant reading surprise: A popcorn novel that combines Western, SF, horror and thriller elements in an old-fashioned, yet surprisingly effective, manner. Think ‘Stranger Things’ combined with some of the darker and crazier ‘The X-Files’ episodes, and you’ll get a sense of what a fantastic read this is. Also, if you enjoyed ‘The Institute’ by Stephen King, where a dastardly top-secret government organisation experiments on inculcating latent superpowers in vulnerable children, you will love this. Yet Percy’s take on the trope is a tad more ‘X-Men’ than King’s, with a good dollop of tentacular Lovecraftian cosmic menace thrown in for good measure. Described like this, ‘The Ninth Metal’ should by all rights be a complete hodgepodge, not to mention a hot mess, but Percy’s deft characterisation and expert control of the narrative tension simply sucks the reader in. There is a lot of fun to be had in the details as well, and a vein of humour running throughout the story like the extra-solar omnimetal that is omnipresent in Minnesota itself. I have no idea if Percy’s ‘ninth metal’ is a deliberate reference to the ‘Nth Metal’ of the DC Universe, described as “a special metal with gravity negating effects.” Of course, omnimetal does a lot more than that, and is therefore an expert nod at the many McGuffin Magic Materials that prop up so many SF novels. Surprisingly, omnimetal is not the main focus though. We learn about the catastrophic meteor shower that deposits it on earth in brief flashback chapters, while speculation about its function and composition is just detailed enough to be convincing without derailing the propulsive main narrative with too much info-dumping. That is a common problem of SF novels of this ilk: Never let the science take the place of the story or the characters; Andy Weir and Liu Cixin, take note. And in terms of the main narrative, it is a real corker: Two diehard and equally weird Minnesota conglomerate families (the cult is actually the normal one) go head-to-head (as well lots of other body parts) to claim exclusive rights to the miracle of omnimetal and its potential to totally transform life on Earth as we know it. And probably literally, as we suspect from the get-go. But, as in all good Pandora Box tales, getting your heart’s desire is only the beginning of a long road of unintended consequences. Unusually for a multi-volume series, this opener ends on a real cliffhanger, yet is still complete enough for the ending to be a perfect conclusion to the overarching story. However, Percy really sets a high bar for himself at the end, so it will be intriguing to see where he takes his motley crew next when the ‘The Unfamiliar Garden’ is released early next year. Metal is!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    A comet has left deposits of a new mineral called omnimetal on Earth. The mineral is a source of power, has superior conductive ability, is addictive if smoked or snorted and has had an unusual impact on some of the people who were exposed to it. Two mineral companies are warring over control of the large omnimetal supply in Minnesota. A large deposit is controlled by a weird cult that refuses to sell. At the same time, the Defense Department is conducting extreme experiments on a 15 year old bo A comet has left deposits of a new mineral called omnimetal on Earth. The mineral is a source of power, has superior conductive ability, is addictive if smoked or snorted and has had an unusual impact on some of the people who were exposed to it. Two mineral companies are warring over control of the large omnimetal supply in Minnesota. A large deposit is controlled by a weird cult that refuses to sell. At the same time, the Defense Department is conducting extreme experiments on a 15 year old boy in order to determine exactly how useful omnimetal might be to the military. This is the first book of a three book cycle about the comet, but the story here is complete and doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. A lot of this book was comprised of family/crime drama involving the ruthless Frontier family and their secrets. The family is more connected to omnimetal than anyone knows. There are murders, crooked cops, violent encounters and a police investigation. There are also thriller elements. I was expecting more science fiction, however the origins and properties of omnimetal were not very well explained. In particular, there was one event involving the cult which had no basis in anything else that was described in the book. Maybe omnimetal will be fleshed out more in the next book. I am intrigued enough to want to read it. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    This is an unexpectedly pleasant mix of backwoods good-ole-boys with all their country poverty and an SF-tainted goldrush. In most respect, the novel is entirely about the characters, their hopes and fears, their sense of belonging, or their need to find justice or even exploit the hell out of people's weaknesses. It's about being a fish out of water. Of coming home to a place that doesn't want you any longer. It's also about the complete and ugly transformation of your home once the sharks smell This is an unexpectedly pleasant mix of backwoods good-ole-boys with all their country poverty and an SF-tainted goldrush. In most respect, the novel is entirely about the characters, their hopes and fears, their sense of belonging, or their need to find justice or even exploit the hell out of people's weaknesses. It's about being a fish out of water. Of coming home to a place that doesn't want you any longer. It's also about the complete and ugly transformation of your home once the sharks smell blood. And it's also something of a gritty origin story for people with superpowers. But that takes a serious back seat to everything else. Because let's face it, economics rules everything. The rest of us are just trying to survive. There's a lot of familiar things in this novel. It could very well be a contemporary fiction piece if it wasn't for the SFnal elements that drive the force of everyone's motivations. And the idea of a super-natural meteorite bringing tons of change isn't exactly new, either, but when we put them together, it's a pretty fascinating social commentary and thriller in its own right.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Di Maitland

    3.5*s. I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of this book; I felt rather let down by the last third. It was the character building that won me over and the world-building that lost me. There was huge potential for change and transformation, but we only see a little and hear of a little more. Perhaps this is something Percy will build upon in the next book. I'd be tempted to read it. 'Take one look and you think you're in a piny postcard advertising Vactionland. Blink a few times and you realise y 3.5*s. I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of this book; I felt rather let down by the last third. It was the character building that won me over and the world-building that lost me. There was huge potential for change and transformation, but we only see a little and hear of a little more. Perhaps this is something Percy will build upon in the next book. I'd be tempted to read it. 'Take one look and you think you're in a piny postcard advertising Vactionland. Blink a few times and you realise you're in the middle of an alien-ore geopolitical crisis.' A new gold-rush has come to America, a meteor shower depositing a new metal - omnimetal or the ninth metal - on Minnesota, taking the state from backwater sticks to boomtown. With each gram worth millions, those who own the land are in the money and two companies - local Frontier Metal and Texan Black Dog Energy - are ready to cash in. "There's a fight going on here. A fight for Northfall, guess you could say. You properly already got a sense of that. It's like Deadwood downtown. It's like the gold rush meets the oil rush meets the height of the steel boom in the Iron Range. It's fucking bananas. Forget the Wild West. This is the Wild North. [...] Northfall's ours - right, Johnny? It always has been. The Frontiers have kept his place alive as long as we've been alive." John Frontier thought he'd got out of the rat race when he left Minnesota five years ago, but he's been lured back by a family wedding and his family are determined to make him stay. I thought I understood John - the good son of a poisonous family who manages to get up and get out - I was wrong. And then I was wrong again, and again and again. Percy delights in sprinkling just enough clues for you to lead yourself astray and then gently (and not so gently) showing you the error of your ways. I loved it. I never knew quite who to root for or what would happen next. Alongside John, we hear from from a number of other characters. His old sweetheart, who stuck with him through thick and thin and then remarried when he abandoned her; Stacie Toal, a local policewoman who's beginning to realise the police might not be the peacekeepers she always imagined them to be; Victoria, a physics professor hired by the Department of Defence to investigate the new metal and who's now in over her head; Yesno, the foster son of Ragnar Frontier who will do anything to help; and more. To start, we're given a new point of view with each chapter and I was surprised by how well it worked. Percy has a wonderful way of describing people, focusing on a character's more unusual traits and so giving us a far more rounded impression of the character as a whole. It reminded me a little of Maggie Stiefvater's writing in this regard. 'It wasn't the apocalypse, but it was a taste of it.' With a new metal to play with, this book could have gone far and in all sorts of directions. It started well with a bullet train and then just gave up on wider world-building and resigned itself to being a turf-war with some superhero elements and suggestions of the extraterrestrial. We're told again and again the value of the metal and its possibilities but all they seem to do with it is smoke it or wear it as jewellery (Hawkin, of course, aside, but I'll be spoiling it if I say more). It felt like a waste. And then the end. Whilst the start felt nicely understated and reasonably realistic, the book gets more and more over the top and unlikely as it goes. The end felt rushed, with new elements introduced and whole scenes (which I'd consider pretty key) just skimmed over. All of a sudden, Percy's history of comic-book writing became clear. Overall, I thought the book was well-written, with some fantastic twists that kept me turning the page. It's not as dark as I was expecting it to be and I was grateful for that. Will I read the next book? Maybe. You might like this if you like:

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    Synopsis: Earth crossed a comet’s debris field and down came wondrous omnimetal which is a perfect energy source but can also be consumed as a drug. The story follows John Frontier, heir to a iron-mining dynasty in Minnesota. He returns for his sister’s wedding and finds his family in a cutthroat war for mining rights. The other protagonist is physicist Victoria Lennon who works for the Department of Defense to research omnimetal. In this case, a living one, as a boy has been covered with the met Synopsis: Earth crossed a comet’s debris field and down came wondrous omnimetal which is a perfect energy source but can also be consumed as a drug. The story follows John Frontier, heir to a iron-mining dynasty in Minnesota. He returns for his sister’s wedding and finds his family in a cutthroat war for mining rights. The other protagonist is physicist Victoria Lennon who works for the Department of Defense to research omnimetal. In this case, a living one, as a boy has been covered with the metal and developed super hero abilities. Lastly, a newbie cop investigates a murder in her off-time and comes across corruption in her department. Review: This novel is a cross-over of super hero prequel and Wild West story. I expected something more SF, something technical. But it wasn’t about those aspects at all. The whole omnimetal trope is just a layer over the Wild West content, featuring gang wars, exploiting mining corporations, corrupt cops, all set in a backwater city. While enjoyable as such, I’d say the crossover idea didn’t catch roots and I’d rather have read a plain Western, featuring moral choices, family loyalty, and strong characters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kev

    A superhero origin story in disguise as a rough family drama. Only, the superheroes are more anti-hero. There's really no likeable characters in this book. John, arguably, the main character is a murderer and his family is basically the local mafia. Stacie, the rookie cop, is a wholesome character but is changed by the events of the book. Victoria basically tortures a kid "for science" but knows it's wrong and wants to free him. There are other characters that come and go, all are driven to extr A superhero origin story in disguise as a rough family drama. Only, the superheroes are more anti-hero. There's really no likeable characters in this book. John, arguably, the main character is a murderer and his family is basically the local mafia. Stacie, the rookie cop, is a wholesome character but is changed by the events of the book. Victoria basically tortures a kid "for science" but knows it's wrong and wants to free him. There are other characters that come and go, all are driven to extremes because of the gold-rush atmosphere after a meteor crashes into their town and leaves masses of a new metal that has world-changing properties. Speaking of the meteor - it's like if the vibranium meteor from the Marvel movie Black Panther crashed in Minnesota instead of Wakanda. The metal has many properties similar to that comic book metal, at least as portrayed in the MCU movies. Hints sprinkled throughout the story indicate there may be more to the metal than just as a power source and creation of superheroes. Lovecraftian dreams, portals to elsewhere are just a part of the subtle world-building I hope is explored deeper in the sequel. I didn't realize this was the first book in a series until I looked it up on Goodreads. I'm intrigued enough by the world-building to read the sequel when it comes out. Review eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

    First in the new series THE COMET CYCLE by acclaimed author Benjamin Percy, THE NINTH METAL (release June 1, 2021) is an expansive work of very near-future SciFi, Speculative Fiction of high order. I applaud the Science, the Speculation, the character evolution and devolution. Additionally Mr. Percy performs some seriously Lovecraftian rifts hinting at potential Cosmic Horror, through Portals [question: do you REALLY want to walk through that doorway?] and even a Stonehenge similarity (and oh, t First in the new series THE COMET CYCLE by acclaimed author Benjamin Percy, THE NINTH METAL (release June 1, 2021) is an expansive work of very near-future SciFi, Speculative Fiction of high order. I applaud the Science, the Speculation, the character evolution and devolution. Additionally Mr. Percy performs some seriously Lovecraftian rifts hinting at potential Cosmic Horror, through Portals [question: do you REALLY want to walk through that doorway?] and even a Stonehenge similarity (and oh, the outcome of that one!) Family Dysfunction maximized; greed and cupidity; wealth vs. abject poverty; all the replay of the 20th century's growth of Corporations, squeezing out the workers, the farmers, the small landowners of inherited property, destruction of environment, ramped up to a new extreme by the discovery of the new element "deposited" by meteors: omnimetal. And we must not forget the governmental/military complex's rush to weaponize: Super Soldiers indeed. The nightmare of the 20th century, altering humans into unstoppable weapons of warfare, is now on the horizon. THE NINTH METAL is simply outstanding, as is its sequel (release January 2022), THE UNFAMILIAR GARDEN.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donna Bull

    This intriguing, action packed science fiction story grabbed me right from the get go and didn't let go!! I so thoroughly enjoyed reading it, the characters and unique story just pull you right in. The story begins with a comet meteor shower that turns into a worldwide event when large pieces strike all over the earth with devastating effects. In Northfall, Minnesota, a young boy named Hawkin is caught up in the fall and physcally changed forever. This new metal from the heavens, named Omnimetal This intriguing, action packed science fiction story grabbed me right from the get go and didn't let go!! I so thoroughly enjoyed reading it, the characters and unique story just pull you right in. The story begins with a comet meteor shower that turns into a worldwide event when large pieces strike all over the earth with devastating effects. In Northfall, Minnesota, a young boy named Hawkin is caught up in the fall and physcally changed forever. This new metal from the heavens, named Omnimetal, has properties that suggest it is a phenomenal new energy source. This leads to huge changes in technology and makes Northfall the center of a new mining industry which completely changes the town and not always for the better. One company at the center of all this is Frontier Mining and John Frontier has just returned from being gone for 5 years to his home that has changed forever. John does not want to be drawn back into his dysfunctional family, but events put him at the center of disappearances, murder, and a business dispute with deadly consequences. The science behind the story is so interesting and also plausible since we don't know if there are other metals out there in the universe and what their properties might be. The physical effects it has on people and the lengths that the government would go to to explore these effects is frighteningly real. But it really is the characters that draw you in, from the upstanding deputy Stacie to morally gray John and some very scary others whose actions actually make you cringe as you read them. The pace of the story combined with these wonderful characters keeps you turning the pages to find twists you don't see coming, action and consequences that definitely make me want the next installment in the series!! I highly recommend this exciting story to science fiction and thriller lovers!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike Finn

    I picked up 'The Ninth Metal', a Science Fiction book that looks at what happens when the Earth moves the path of debris from a comet and is hit by large numbers of meteors made of a ninth inert metal with some game-changing attributes, because it was recommended by Stephen King. I can see now why he might have done that. Like his own work, it's original but still linked to a world we all understand. It follows multiple characters, is packed with plot twists and compelling 'what if?' possibilitie I picked up 'The Ninth Metal', a Science Fiction book that looks at what happens when the Earth moves the path of debris from a comet and is hit by large numbers of meteors made of a ninth inert metal with some game-changing attributes, because it was recommended by Stephen King. I can see now why he might have done that. Like his own work, it's original but still linked to a world we all understand. It follows multiple characters, is packed with plot twists and compelling 'what if?' possibilities and it kept me wanting to turn the pages. What I liked most about it was that Benjamin Percy took me on a perfectly choreographed wild ride that constantly surprised me. The man is a magician, a master of misdirection. The story starts with two shootings on the night when meteor after meteor ripped through the sky and tore into the land of a rural area. You know the meteor strikes, the shootings and the survivors are important but you don't know why. Then Percy, magician that he is, makes you forget all of them for now and gets you to concentrate on a scene that pulls you in with its simplicity and a familiarity that lets you think you know where this book is going. That maybe you've already seen the movie. Percy focuses on a lone soldier with medals on a chest, coming home on a train. He is the prodigal eldest son, estranged from his powerful family, especially his almost legendary father, returning to the small town his family has dominated for generations, to attend his sister's wedding. He's a quiet man in a loud environment. To those who look closely, his stillness suggests control rather than passivity. Then you learn that the small town is now a boomtown for mining the ninth metal and his noisy fellow passengers are all on their way to make their fortune. When you discover that his family's dominance over the town is being challenged by a vulgar, violent, arrogant carpetbagger from Texas, you think you know where this is going. But you don't and you won't. You'll be fooled and misdirected and every time the plot shifts everything will be different but it will always make more sense. And where you end up and who you're with when you get there, well that's nothing like the book you thought you were in when you first saw that soldier riding the train home. This is a Science Fiction thriller and there's a lot in it about what the ninth metal does and how it does it and how it will transform energy, transport and weaponry but I thought much of the power of the story came from how it drew on four very recognisable American traits. First, there is the American cultural foundation stone that holds as a self-evident truth that in a gold rush/ oil rush / land rush, all laws are set aside while the strong fight and kill to get rich. This isn't a country where the State would declare that it owned all the ninth metal deposits and would license its exploitation for the benefit of all citizens. This is a country where you head out to grab what you can while you can and the devil take the hindmost. This is the Yukon. This is the robber barons building railways and shooting at and sabotaging the opposition. This is the real American Dream. The second is the way cults flourish in America as the lost and the discarded seek purpose and meaning and rebirth through something larger than themselves. Here we get the Metal Eaters, addicted to consuming ninth metal dust that changes their consciousness in a way that they explain only by saying 'Metal is'. Then there is the acceptance as natural that one family in a region can, over generations, if they are ruthless enough, acquire enough wealth and power to become almost unassailable and can then present themselves as the local good guys fighting off the out-of-State carpetbaggers. They are seen as part of the answer, not the cause of the problem. Finally there is the deeply ingrained belief that the Federal government will countenance torture, extreme rendition and well-funded black ops if they think the stakes are high enough or perhaps just if they think that they can get away with it. Percy weaves these threads into new patterns, constantly making the reader reassess what they thought they knew. I liked the tone of 'The Ninth Metal'. It read like the text version of the very best graphic novels: packed with vivid images, rapid violence and dramatic 'ah ha' moments of revelation. i recommend abandoning moderation when you consume this book. It's for gulping, not sipping. If you can, plan time for the binge read that will inevitably follow once you start the book. Take breaks if the tension gets to you or when you need to re-orient yourself after one of the 'I didn't see that coming' moments when the plot twists and tilts beneath you like a fairground ride. This is the first book in the series but its also a full novel in its own right. There were no cliff-hanger endings here but it was also clear that the story is far from over. Everything changed the night the meteors screamed through the sky and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next. I listened to the audiobook version of 'The Ninth Metal' which I thought was well done. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample. https://soundcloud.com/hodderbooks/th...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    In The Ninth Metal, the first book in the new trilogy The Comet Cycle by Benjamin Percy, what starts as a beautiful phenomenon turns into a planet-changing event. As the Cain Comet passes by Earth, people everywhere gaze at this once-in-a-lifetime sight. But a year later, the Earth’s orbit takes it through the debris field trailing the comet, and suddenly, life on Earth is permanently changed. The book only hints at the global implications and the variety of natural disasters that occur in the wa In The Ninth Metal, the first book in the new trilogy The Comet Cycle by Benjamin Percy, what starts as a beautiful phenomenon turns into a planet-changing event. As the Cain Comet passes by Earth, people everywhere gaze at this once-in-a-lifetime sight. But a year later, the Earth’s orbit takes it through the debris field trailing the comet, and suddenly, life on Earth is permanently changed. The book only hints at the global implications and the variety of natural disasters that occur in the wake of this event. Instead, The Ninth Metal restricts its focus to the town of Northfall, Minnesota — a dying mining town whose riches have been dwindling, until the debris strike bombards the area with meteors containing a previously unknown element. Known as omnimetal, this ninth metal has properties that science can barely begin to understand. But one thing is clear. Omnimetal has huge energy-storage and generating abilities, and suddenly, Northfall is once again a boomtown. As the book opens, it’s been five years since the arrival of omnimetal. The population of Northfall has exploded, and a power grab is underway between two massively wealthy energy companies, each of which wants to control the resources completely. Frontier is the locally based company, run by the powerful Frontier family, but they’re threatened by the encroachment of Black Dog Energy, a Texas oil firm that’s willing to use any means necessary to control the world’s supply of omnimetal. Meanwhile, a group of cult-like worshippers smoke and snort ground-up omnimetal, living in a sort of trance with eyes glowing blue, celebrating the omnimetal’s powers and becoming wraithlike addicts with a religious devotion. And in a facility so secret that it’s not on any map, a Department of Defense research facility carries out inhumane experiments in the name of science and national security, trapping two unwilling participants in a never-ending, escalating series of tests and trials. The Ninth Metal is small in scope, in that it’s centered completely on the area in and around Northfall. Yet we also get hints that the entire world has been changed in incomprehensible ways, as characters hear or repeat stories about weird things happening around the globe. At times, the corporate warfare between Frontier and Black Dog reads like something out of Dallas, with competing conglomerates trying to gobble up the resources (and the power and the money) all for themselves, relying on threats, extortion, violence, and outright murder to get what they want. But also, The Ninth Metal is top-notch speculative fiction, taking small town USA and injecting it with powerful forces beyond human comprehension, turning daily life on its head and bringing unknowable powers into what was once a quiet, dull, ordinary little place. The characters are varied and interesting, from the members of the Frontier family to the local rookie cop to the young boy who just wants his freedom. The plot is compact and fast-paced, and between heists and kidnappings and bombings and the weird uses of omnimetal, there’s never a dull moment. And hey — the evil science labs and secret experiments totally gave me a Stranger Things vibe! I love that the trilogy of The Comet Cycle will be published on such a tight schedule, with the next two books already scheduled for publication in 2022. From what I understand, the 2nd book (and presumably the 3rd as well?) tells a different story about the comet’s affect on Earth, focusing on different characters, a different setting, and a new set of potentially deadly circumstances. I am so there for it! I absolutely want to continue these books, and will be waiting eagerly for #2, The Unfamiliar Garden. Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley. Full review at Bookshelf Fantasies.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    An enjoyable if somewhat flawed romp. You’ve read the spiel. The earth passes through the debris field of a comet which results in huge meteor showers. These comprise of what is eventually called the ninth metal -omnimetal. With super conductive powers, it is a new source of energy that will change the world forever. Huge deposits lan in Minnesota and what was once a small mining town suddenly becomes the centre of a modern day gold rush. It also can be ground down and used as a highly addictive An enjoyable if somewhat flawed romp. You’ve read the spiel. The earth passes through the debris field of a comet which results in huge meteor showers. These comprise of what is eventually called the ninth metal -omnimetal. With super conductive powers, it is a new source of energy that will change the world forever. Huge deposits lan in Minnesota and what was once a small mining town suddenly becomes the centre of a modern day gold rush. It also can be ground down and used as a highly addictive drug and has a cult following who worship its arrival. Throw in a scientist with a conscience experimenting with people who were directly exposed to the initial impacts and may have superpowers, along with two superpowers in the mining industry fighting for control of the omnimetal supply and you have a lot to take in. There’s a huge mount to enjoy in this book. Despite having many story arcs, it hangs together very well and is extremely easy to follow. It’s a mixture of sci-fi, thriller, western and superhero story with, surprisingly the sci-fi part possibly the least explored. It does kind of get itself twisted in knots a little towards the final third and there is a little sense of dissatisfaction at the end. The whole cult that worships omnimetal is never really fleshed out and explored for a start and many of the story arcs feel a little unfinished. Also one of the main characters in the book is totally unbelievable and two dimensionally written to th epoint of distraction. There’s a huge amount crammed into the 300 odd pages and maybe that adds to the feeling of dissatisfaction. All the information is nicely told and explained. It’s just too many things just felt touched on rather than fleshed out. It ends up being a bit of a mish mash of bits and pieces that are there to get to the end of the story rather than add real weight. Still misgivings aside, this was a fun read. I believe this is the first of a trilogy and I will certainly be hoping to pick up the next instalment when it is released. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    A scifi gold rush, and the effects it would have on a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Very, very violent and bloody, and I feel like the Evil Scientist character was a little over the top (his name was Thaddeus, for crying out loud) but taken as a comic book-inspired scifi drama, it definitely pays off.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anneke

    Book Review: The Ninth Metal Author: Benjamin Percy Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner Books Publication Date: June 1, 2021 Review Date: December 23, 2020 From the blurb: “From award-winning author Benjamin Percy comes an explosive, breakout speculative thriller in which a powerful new metal arrives on Earth in the wake of a meteor shower, triggering a massive new “gold rush” in the Midwest and turning life as we know it on its head. The first of a cycle of novels set in a shared universe. I Book Review: The Ninth Metal Author: Benjamin Percy Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner Books Publication Date: June 1, 2021 Review Date: December 23, 2020 From the blurb: “From award-winning author Benjamin Percy comes an explosive, breakout speculative thriller in which a powerful new metal arrives on Earth in the wake of a meteor shower, triggering a massive new “gold rush” in the Midwest and turning life as we know it on its head. The first of a cycle of novels set in a shared universe. It began with a comet. When it came into view on a close pass by Earth, people took off work, gathering on sidewalks and in parking lots to watch it burn by. One year later, Earth spun into the debris field the comet left behind. The worldwide effects of the meteor shower are yet to be known, but in the first book of the Comet Cycle, Minnesota seemed to bear the brunt of the damage: meteors annihilated barns and silos, cratered pastures and hardwood forests, tore up county highways, and evaporated one small town in an instant. At first, it is a colossal disaster. Until the people of Minnesota notice deposits of unusual metal in the comet’s debris. Not gold, silver, copper, tin, iron or any of the noble metals, it’s a previously unknown ninth metal: omnimetal. With high-density charging capabilities and conductive properties that can change the world as an energy source, the deposit might be the best thing that ever happened to the northern section of the state, where the economy has been dying for a long time. Or it might be the worst. It is then that the “gold rush” begins. Farmers sell their metal-rich land for millions. Comet-worshipping cults set up compounds and repeat the phrase “Metal is” as their mantra. Roughnecks flood the town, hungry for work and trouble. Prostitutes flourish. Businesses rise. Families are divided. Saudis bid against the Chinese on land grabs. Bodies lie in shallow graves. As witnessed when oil was discovered in the Bakken Formation of North Dakota, the heartland in our story goes from the middle of nowhere to the center of everything. And one family—the Frontiers—hopes to control it all.” ——— I wanted very badly to like this book. This kind of speculative fiction is usually right up my alley. But alas, I believe the book needs some editing, and tightening up. There was too much of....everything. Too many plot lines, too many characters, too many ideas. If better written, all the parts might have come together nicely. However, the book could have just used some good old fashioned editing. I give it 3 stars and would not recommend it. Especially not to purchase. Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt fir giving me early access. #netgalley #theninthmetal #houghtonmifflinharcourt #speculativefiction

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gabe

    I have liked everything I've read by Ben Percy but this is exceptional! I'll avoid spoilers because I loved how well the story unfolded. This story takes place in northern Minnesota and it's obvious Percy really focused on getting every single detail correct without getting bogged down (so readers can savor them or just continue with the compelling story). I'm really excited for later releases of this series but the Ninth Metal stands well on its own. Highly recommended! I have liked everything I've read by Ben Percy but this is exceptional! I'll avoid spoilers because I loved how well the story unfolded. This story takes place in northern Minnesota and it's obvious Percy really focused on getting every single detail correct without getting bogged down (so readers can savor them or just continue with the compelling story). I'm really excited for later releases of this series but the Ninth Metal stands well on its own. Highly recommended!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Review of Advance Uncorrected Proof A comet streaking through the sky leaves a debris field that creates a crisis for Northfall, Minnesota. As the planet spun through the debris, meteors rained down. And when there were no more, there was omnimetal left behind to create a modern-day gold rush. Omnimetal proved to be an amazing energy source . . . and an unimaginable weapon. Soon the ruthless Frontier family is embroiled in a cutthroat war to control the mineral rights and mining operations for omn Review of Advance Uncorrected Proof A comet streaking through the sky leaves a debris field that creates a crisis for Northfall, Minnesota. As the planet spun through the debris, meteors rained down. And when there were no more, there was omnimetal left behind to create a modern-day gold rush. Omnimetal proved to be an amazing energy source . . . and an unimaginable weapon. Soon the ruthless Frontier family is embroiled in a cutthroat war to control the mineral rights and mining operations for omnimetal. After five years away, John Frontier returns home for his sister’s wedding, only to find lawless corporations vying for control amid sabotage and nightmarish secret experiments. Will he be able to stop the murders, the crooked cops, and the violence? First in the author’s comet trilogy, the story works well as a stand-alone, with no cliffhangers [although it is clear that there is more to come in the story]. The characters, however, were mostly unlikable as they fought for control of the exotic metal. Some plot twists and unexpected revelations kept the pages turning. The largest disappointment is that the omnimetal, which lies at the heart of the story, remains unexplained; perhaps its origin will play a role in future books in the series. Despite this, there’s a lot for readers to appreciate in this suspenseful science fiction tale of extraterrestrial material, human greed, and family dynamics. Recommended. I received a free copy of this eBook from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Mariner Books and NetGalley #TheNinthMetal #NetGalley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan R

    My thanks to Netgalley for sending me a ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is great!! I confess that I had never heard of Benjamin Percy before reading this book, but he is clearly a very talented and creative writer. While this is definitely a Sci-Fi and fiction book, it also has an element of realism at its core that helped ground it for me, and made it far more enjoyable. The characters were very well written and believable. I particularly enjoyed the complicated fami My thanks to Netgalley for sending me a ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is great!! I confess that I had never heard of Benjamin Percy before reading this book, but he is clearly a very talented and creative writer. While this is definitely a Sci-Fi and fiction book, it also has an element of realism at its core that helped ground it for me, and made it far more enjoyable. The characters were very well written and believable. I particularly enjoyed the complicated family dynamics that the author explores and the constant moral grey area that virtually every character finds themselves in at some point. There are also several twist and turns in this book that surprised me, and kept me hooked the whole way. If I had one criticism, it would be that I wish more of the mysteries explored in this book were explained. While I fully understand that this is book 1 of a series, and it wouldn't do to give too much away to soon, I still wish more would have been revealed about the deeper mysteries hinted at in this book. If anything I simply wish the book was longer! I devoured it in one day, and now I just want more. This is always the mark of a good author in opinion. This book is well deserving of it's 5 star review and I cant wait for the next book in the series to find out what happens next.

  19. 5 out of 5

    TC

    Recommended with reservations. Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: https://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/2... Recommended with reservations. Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: https://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/2...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    TL;DR Action, murder, corporate intrigue, all fill The Ninth Metal. This book has it all, and I enjoyed each mystery as it unfolded. Recommended. Disclaimer: The publisher provided a review copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions that follow are mine and mine alone. For more reviews, please, visit Primmlife.com. Review: The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy Someone once said that all fiction is either someone coming to or leaving from town. In othe TL;DR Action, murder, corporate intrigue, all fill The Ninth Metal. This book has it all, and I enjoyed each mystery as it unfolded. Recommended. Disclaimer: The publisher provided a review copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions that follow are mine and mine alone. For more reviews, please, visit Primmlife.com. Review: The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy Someone once said that all fiction is either someone coming to or leaving from town. In other words, all fiction is about change. In The Ninth Metal, Benjamin Percy brings the comet Caine to Earth. As the comet flies over Northfall, MN, it drops a new kind of metal on the small community. This new metal, omnimetal, changes the world forever and brings new life back into this small mining community. The Ninth Metal shows how the community responds to the changes, the influx of people, and to the vast riches suddenly strewn across Northfall. As ever, humans rushing to exploit new resources causes tension, and Benjamin Percy is quite good at depicting this tension on a person to person basis. The Ninth Metal is a book filled with mystery and secrets. Will John’s return home give him closure? John Frontier returns to Northfall for his sister’s wedding. John is also the troubled son of the Frontier family, owners of the mining company that used to sustain Northfall. With omnimetal’s appearance, the Frontier family is once again raking in the money, and they’re faced with stiff competition from an out of town company. John’s father, the CEO, must fend off competitors and the government, who seek omnimetals uses as a weapon. John’s sister, heir to company, will do what it takes to protect her family’s interests as she tries to bring Frontier into the modern era. Victoria Lennon gets an offer from the government to conduct top secret research, but she regrets taking the job. Her research strains her marriage, strains her sanity, but she’s unable to quit. Omnimetal has profound properties that change U.S. society. John returns to Northfall on a bullet train made of and powered by omnimetal. Its ability to absorb and distribute energy make it valuable for new technologies. But, for some, the metal is a new a drug to be smoked, and a small cult of addicts has built itself around a woman calling herself Mother in Northfall. Upon ingestion, the users’ eyes light up blue. John’s brother, Nico, becomes a user, a metalhead. The novel opens prior to the comet’s arrival. A young boy witnesses the invasion of his home by a man with a shotgun. He hears his mom and dad get shot. In case, there’s any wonder about the tone of the novel; this sets it. Action, murder, corporate intrigue, all fill The Ninth Metal. It is a brutal novel about regrets and how the past stays with us. Regret The past haunts The Ninth Metal throughout. John is filled with regret, and it fuels much of his story. One of Percy’s strengths is how the past still affects the character’s present. The past haunts the whole Frontier family in a number of ways, from recent past to the start of the Frontier company. Their history dictates their actions in the present, and Percy excels at making those past events create decisions that complicate their actions. Characters I loved a lot of the characters in this book. Percy has a lot of points of view in this book, and each felt unique. Despite the large cast, I never got lost; Percy does a great job about giving each character description and differentiation. Character makes entertaining books, and I enjoyed all the character work done here. The reader spends most time with John, and his complicated history drives the story. A big part of the joy of reading this book is unraveling the mystery of John. He wants to be a good person, but can he? That’s a big question in the book. Throughout whenever you think you have an idea about John, Percy unveils a new aspect. Conclusion Benjamin Percy’s The Ninth Metal showcases the effect of a new ‘gold rush’ on a small American town. Omnimetal changes the nation, the community, and the characters. This opening to the Comet Cycle introduces readers to a new world through the unique lens of Benjamin Percy. I recommend following John Frontier’s return to his hometown. The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy is available from Mariner Books on June 1st, 2021.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael J.

    THE NINTH METAL checks a lot of boxes as it plays out. The first book in Benjamin Percy's Comet Cycle trilogy has the potential to be one of those cross-genre novels that attracts a broader audience, appealing to many who don't normally seek out this type of fare. There are elements of thrillers, science fiction, crime and politics, horror, action adventure, and sweeping family saga all held together by Percy's skill at mixing them all together in an easy-reading and fast-paced epic. Taking all THE NINTH METAL checks a lot of boxes as it plays out. The first book in Benjamin Percy's Comet Cycle trilogy has the potential to be one of those cross-genre novels that attracts a broader audience, appealing to many who don't normally seek out this type of fare. There are elements of thrillers, science fiction, crime and politics, horror, action adventure, and sweeping family saga all held together by Percy's skill at mixing them all together in an easy-reading and fast-paced epic. Taking all of that into consideration, it's the family saga that kept me reading this and turning the pages. There is some great character development to be enjoyed in this novel, and more than enough characters for readers to empathize or root for one or more of them. At the heart of THE NINTH METAL is a highly detailed saga of a powerful but dysfunctional family exerting its influence on a small Minnesota town. Generations of the Frontier family (ironic last name) built their company into a massive mining operation, invested and helped build up the surrounding community, and even helped support it through depression, recession and a drop-off in demand for their wares. Now, with the discovery of the vast potential hiding within the ninth metal (omni metal, residue deposited on Earth as it passes through a comet's trail), a new Gold Rush is about to begin. The Frontier family wants to lead the charge, but they have competition from unscrupulous sources (including the government). The first novel details the changes in the once quiet community as a result: increased population, migration of workers, increased crime, corrupt police and politicians, organized crime - - but even more threatening internal squabbles, tension and back-stabbing within the family. It gets brutal. Omni-metal provides a new source of power for mass transportation and other applications, including weapon development by the Department of Defense, as well as a spiritual aspect. A religious cult arises around the ninth metal, as disciples smoke and/or snort it for a mystical trip. My favorite character is John Frontier, the prodigal son who returns to the fold and gets quickly enmeshed in family business. He's done some regrettable things in his past, but desperately wants to make amends as many of his actions in the story reveal. His heart is in the right place. I'm interested in both his further development in the next book of the trilogy, as well as the changes in management for the Frontier family business as their involvement in omni-metal progresses. I received an advance review copy of this book through Net Gallery and wrote this review voluntarily.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    ***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review In the first book of the Comet Cycle Trilogy, the scene is set in the town of Northfall, Minnesota, and how it becomes the epicenter of the comet debris striking the town and the fallout that ensues. The debris is made of a previously unknown ninth metal that they call omnimetal. It causes a mining boon, cults to pop up worshipping the omnimetal, increase in crime and prostitution, fighting over mineral rights and the governmen ***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review In the first book of the Comet Cycle Trilogy, the scene is set in the town of Northfall, Minnesota, and how it becomes the epicenter of the comet debris striking the town and the fallout that ensues. The debris is made of a previously unknown ninth metal that they call omnimetal. It causes a mining boon, cults to pop up worshipping the omnimetal, increase in crime and prostitution, fighting over mineral rights and the government capturing and studying one terrified boy who got caught in the fallout and has now become impervious to pain. One family, the Frontier family, has the way and the funds to take it all. This book was so good. It was non-stop action from start to finish. The author did an excellent job with world-building, and making this new world so immersible. The storyline is fresh and there are characters that you want to root for and others that you can't wait to see their downfall. I am already anxious to read the second book in the series, and see where the storyline goes next. I highly recommend this one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Thanks to NetGallley and HMH for an advanced copy of this title. As soon as I realized this was set in the Iron Range of Minnesota AND was going to nail the details, I knew I was going to like this book. This starts with a sci-fi premise (a meteor shower strikes Earth, creating a new metal with special properties that's quickly used for batteries, high-speed rail, and other functions, turning northern MN into a new hotspot) and turns it into a Fargo-esque plot involving warring families (and inte Thanks to NetGallley and HMH for an advanced copy of this title. As soon as I realized this was set in the Iron Range of Minnesota AND was going to nail the details, I knew I was going to like this book. This starts with a sci-fi premise (a meteor shower strikes Earth, creating a new metal with special properties that's quickly used for batteries, high-speed rail, and other functions, turning northern MN into a new hotspot) and turns it into a Fargo-esque plot involving warring families (and inter-family head-butting besides), superhero origin stories, a metal dust-snorting cult, and so much more. This nailed the details and was a riveting first entry in a series I already can't wait to get my hands on the rest of.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    Despite what the marketing says, don't go into this expecting a postapocalyptic book. Perhaps down the road, the series might go in that direction, but this individual book is not that but rather a science fiction thriller. It is fast-paced and fun. It would make one hell of a TV series. However, there are not any real surprises, and the characters, while not quite one-dimensional, are definitely stock. Nevertheless, I downed it in 24 hours and, for the most part, enjoyed it. More likely than no Despite what the marketing says, don't go into this expecting a postapocalyptic book. Perhaps down the road, the series might go in that direction, but this individual book is not that but rather a science fiction thriller. It is fast-paced and fun. It would make one hell of a TV series. However, there are not any real surprises, and the characters, while not quite one-dimensional, are definitely stock. Nevertheless, I downed it in 24 hours and, for the most part, enjoyed it. More likely than not, I will pick up the sequel. It's a good book for when you don't really want to have to think, and it does do a nice job of flipping some of the stock characters in terms of gender expectations.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bret Praxmarer

    This is a great story, it is fast paced, interesting and has well developed-relatable characters. It is a sci-fi/possible dystopian novel about a seemingly magic metal that falls from space, but like everything Ben Percy writes, it also about being human/family relationships/ power dynamics and the difficulty of living in a judgmental society. It is a fun read, quick and light if you don't think about it as you read, but it has hidden depths. I highly recommend this book. It is also the first in a This is a great story, it is fast paced, interesting and has well developed-relatable characters. It is a sci-fi/possible dystopian novel about a seemingly magic metal that falls from space, but like everything Ben Percy writes, it also about being human/family relationships/ power dynamics and the difficulty of living in a judgmental society. It is a fun read, quick and light if you don't think about it as you read, but it has hidden depths. I highly recommend this book. It is also the first in a trilogy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Domestic intrigue, violence and a never-before-seen metal or alloy from outer space borne of the dust and debris trailing the comet called Cain. In the middle ages comets were thought to be harbingers of coming death and disaster. This one appears to be no different. Set in the north woods of Minnesota's Arrowhead and Gunflint trails. Cross-reference with the murder mystery novels of Kent Kroger also set in the boundary waters. A solid four as a rating. Domestic intrigue, violence and a never-before-seen metal or alloy from outer space borne of the dust and debris trailing the comet called Cain. In the middle ages comets were thought to be harbingers of coming death and disaster. This one appears to be no different. Set in the north woods of Minnesota's Arrowhead and Gunflint trails. Cross-reference with the murder mystery novels of Kent Kroger also set in the boundary waters. A solid four as a rating.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Elliott Shaw

    A great Sci-fi, dystopian read. The Frontier family gave me Yellowstone/Dutton family vibes for sure - complete with an underhanded and off-the-wall sister character. She's definitely got some issues! Overall, this book was one that made me want to keep turning pages. I was invested in some of the characters, was super intrigued by the "powers" that some of them have due to that fateful night where the world changed. Stacie - one of my favorites. Her relationship with her father and her patience A great Sci-fi, dystopian read. The Frontier family gave me Yellowstone/Dutton family vibes for sure - complete with an underhanded and off-the-wall sister character. She's definitely got some issues! Overall, this book was one that made me want to keep turning pages. I was invested in some of the characters, was super intrigued by the "powers" that some of them have due to that fateful night where the world changed. Stacie - one of my favorites. Her relationship with her father and her patience in investigating the things that don't sit well with her - these things made me want to know more about her. I'm hoping that future books in the series bring her in as more of a main character. I will say that I felt like the end of the book was rushed, but I also realize that more information may be coming in the second book in the series. I want to know what happened to everyone who was there and then wasn't (no more details given as I don't want to ruin this for someone else). I will be putting the second book on my TBR. Can't wait to see what happens with the characters who are still kicking. Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read an ARC of this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    No one could have predicted that a comet would lead to omnimetal but anyone could predict what that would mean to a community, in this case, Northfall, Minnesota. The town is pulled on both ends by the avaricious companies that want the resources until....John Frontier steps up. His family is exploiting the metal, and the community, but he finds himself in the unlikely position of superhero. Yep. No spoilers from me because frankly I'm not sure how to describe this. It crosses genres with a wick No one could have predicted that a comet would lead to omnimetal but anyone could predict what that would mean to a community, in this case, Northfall, Minnesota. The town is pulled on both ends by the avaricious companies that want the resources until....John Frontier steps up. His family is exploiting the metal, and the community, but he finds himself in the unlikely position of superhero. Yep. No spoilers from me because frankly I'm not sure how to describe this. It crosses genres with a wicked sense of satire. The characters are good, the local color pointed, and the plot zips along. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Not my usual read but I enjoyed it and am looking forward for the next in the cycle.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    E-book/Science Fiction: I want to thank NetGalley for giving me an advanced reader copy of this book. I really enjoyed it. It has not been released, so I will only give my impressions, not the plot. I am hoping this is a trilogy I can get immersed in like the Passage, The Strain, Wool, Lightless, or Plague Year. What I love about these books isn’t just the new world faux ideas, but that you can get so wrapped up in a character and two pages later the character is dead, or not. I also compare thi E-book/Science Fiction: I want to thank NetGalley for giving me an advanced reader copy of this book. I really enjoyed it. It has not been released, so I will only give my impressions, not the plot. I am hoping this is a trilogy I can get immersed in like the Passage, The Strain, Wool, Lightless, or Plague Year. What I love about these books isn’t just the new world faux ideas, but that you can get so wrapped up in a character and two pages later the character is dead, or not. I also compare this because all the characters have start out with a story that and you impatiently wait for all the storylines to mesh together at the end. This book isn’t as long as I wanted at only 304 pages. There is a lot of immediate dialog between characters, which I like. (I don’t like one person saying something, then three pages of exposition, and then the answer). There is a lot of descriptions while keeping up the mystery.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jack Kelley

    Very interesting concept, execution was a bit more muddled and scattered (character/narrative-wise) than I would’ve liked. Fewer POVs to follow definitely would’ve helped anchor the story, but it’s not a dealbreaker, and I’m very much looking forward to the next installment in the Comet Cycle. If this was a standalone, there would definitely be a lower rating here, but as I know it’s setting up a larger world I can forgive the lack of explanation on some points. 3.5/5, rounded up to 4.

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